School Accused of Locking 9-Year-Old in Cold, Chairless Room to Help Him 'Focus'

focus room

It's called the "focus room": a frigid room where misbehaving students are forced to sit in a small circle drawn on the floor -- no coat, no bathroom breaks, no moving around -- for a full 90 minutes. When Texas mom Lilian Snowden found her 9-year-old son in there, shivering and crying, she took some pics ... and now the school, Carl Schurz Elementary in New Braunfels, is fielding a barrage of angry calls from parents. 

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Apparently Lilian's son was sent to the focus room for throwing food in the cafeteria, and had been sent to the room before. Lilian had come to school to observe her son, since she'd been told he'd been having behavioral problems. At first, she was denied entrance to the room, but once she was inside, she was so horrified she posted the photos she'd taken on a blog to warn other parents.

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While a school spokesperson claims they can't tell their side of the story due to federal privacy laws, they did say that some of Lilian's account is inaccurate -- and that kids are only placed in this "safe room" only if they're a danger to themselves or other students.

Nonetheless, Lilian plans to home-school both her sons for the rest of the year.

And I don't blame her! In my school, misbehaving kids were sent to the "pink room." I was never inside this room, but I'm pretty sure kids were given seats, coats, allowed bathroom breaks, and didn't have to sit in a circle in the middle of the floor. So in my mind, if these allegations are true, the school is majorly out of line.

It's not that schools shouldn't discipline kids, because I think they should. But I believe that the discipline should be constructive, and help a child improve. This "focus room" sounds more like a mild form of torture.

How would you feel if your kids were placed in a "focus room"?

 

Image via Helping Alex/Squarespace

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